Composite Risk Management is an essential skill that every leader needs to develop. Every Soldier is responsible for safety, but it is up to the leadership to provide a framework. Composite Risk Management worksheets (DA Form 7566) are due before every training event – most likely, your AGR staff turns this in for each drill and AT, but sometimes you will be required to produce one for additional events.
The point of CRM is to mitigate risks in order to avoid losing personnel or equipment, in other words, to avoid lessening your combat effectiveness. FM 5-19, Composite Risk Management, is your go-to guide for understanding the risk management process. The Ground Risk Assessment Tool (GRAT) will be your best friend when it comes to CRM resources online, but make sure you have a CAC reader handy.
There are five steps to the CRM process.
Identify Hazards – This is basically evaluating what things can cause harm to your Soldiers, and your equipment. Hazards exist everywhere, which makes me think we can’t go outside without some kind of bubble around us – but that’s a part of risk management!
Assess Hazards – This is the part where you assess the severity of the hazard and how likely it is to occur. If it’s low, then you don’t need to put it on your worksheet, because you can’t mitigate a low risk to a low risk. The regulation gives you criteria to follow for each level of risk, so you don’t have to worry about how to decide.
Develop Controls – Resources like CALL (Center for Army Lessons Learned), the Army Combat Readiness Center (CRC), and other resources for TTPs and regulations can help you develop controls for the residual risk.
Implement Controls – This is where the rubber meets the road. When you are writing your risk assessment, you are articulating hazards into words. You Soldiers need clear orders on how to implement these controls that you have come up with. Some of them they might know already, but you should ensure that everyone is on the same page and can easily follow your guidelines. Proven methods should be added to SOPs.
Supervise & Evaluate – Much like step 8 of the TLPs, supervise and evaluate means you get to ensure that your plan has been put to action, and what is or isn’t going well. This is your chance to see just how clear your plan was. This is another measure of control, because your supervision means that you are able to focus on the mission at hand without being immersed in doing it all yourself.
Final Thoughts: CRM is essential to our mission, and we are provided many resources to make the process easier.
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